Underwriting Practices of Voluntary Carriers

Cost: $3,000; published 2018

All customers expect carriers to provide excellent service, whether at the point of enrollment, application, billing or claim. Problems in any of these service areas can make or break a case. However, underwriting is the service area that deals with the difficult topics such as rates and eligibility, so it is an area to which brokers and employers are highly attuned. 

The 2018 Underwriting Practices of Voluntary Carriers Spotlight™ Report provides data companies can use to compare their underwriting practices with those of other key voluntary carriers to help ensure their competitiveness in the marketplace. (Note: Product-specific underwriting guidelines are not the focus of this study.)

Specifically, the report looks at:

  • Opinions about voluntary underwriting trends including industry underwriting guidelines, participation requirements, guaranteed issue amounts, and case size eligibility changes for guaranteed issue
  • General underwriting practices such as group-level underwriting, minimum case size accepted, advance approval requirements and employee-eligibility guidelines
  • Guaranteed issue participation requirements by product line
  • Participation requirements waivers and waiver frequency
  • Renewal and rate increase process and frequency
  • Quoting/RFP process


View Table of Contents

1. Executive Summary

A. Report Objectives

B. Methodology

C. Key Findings

2. Findings by Carrier

A. Carrier Data

1. Product Platform Offered

2. Separate Voluntary/Worksite Underwriting Area

B. Voluntary Underwriting Trends

1. Industry Underwriting Guidelines Changes

2. Participation Requirement Changes

3. Guaranteed Issue Amount Increases

4. Case Size Eligibility Changes for Guaranteed Issue

5. Voluntary Underwriting Practices Concerns/Obstacles

C. Underwriting Practices

1. Group-Level Underwriting

2. Use of Census vs. Shelf Rates

3. Group Size Claims Data Required

4. Percentage of Voluntary NBAP by Type of Underwriting

5. Minimum Case Size Accepted

6. Advance Approval Requirements

7. Restrictions on Number of Products Offered

8. New Account Set-Up Unit

9. Underwriting Concessions for Sales Reps

10. Employee Eligibility Guidelines

11. Process for Coverage Amounts Above GI Limits

12. Percentage of Applicants for EOI/Medical Underwriting

13. Underwriting Checks

14. Guaranteed Issue Participation Requirements by Product

15. Combined Participation Requirements

16 .Participation Requirements Waivers

17. Setting Guaranteed Issue Limitations

18. Guaranteed Issue Offer Differences

19. Actions When GI Participation Not Met

20. Frequency of Participation Requirement Waivers

21. Impact of GI on Claims Costs

22. Impact of Participation Rates on Claims Costs

23. Missing Information Process

24. Automatic Pending Notices for Producers

25. Renewal Process

26. Primary Goal of Renewal Underwriting

27. Rate Increase Frequency

28. Rate Increase Results

29. Guiding Principles for Rate Increases

30. Across-the-Board Rate Increases

D. Time Frames and Standards

1. Quote Initiation Process

2. Timeframe for Case Quote

3. Self-Quoting

4. RFP Response Time

5. Typical Turnaround Time for Case Approval/Disapproval

6. Hold Time for Pending Applications

7. Timeframe from Point of Application to Policy Issue


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